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“ Ah ! why thus abandon'd to darkness and woe.
Why thus, lonely Philomel, flows thy sad strain:
For spring shall return, and a lover bestow,
And thy bosom no trace of misfortune retain.
Yet, if pity inspire thee, ah, cease not thy lay!
Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to mourn:
() soothe him, whose pleasures, like thine, pass away:
Full quickly they pass—but they never return.
“Now, gliding remote, on the verge of the sky,
The moon, half extinguish'd, her crescent displays;
But lately I mark’d, when majestic on high
She shone, and the planets were lost in her blaze.
Roll on, thou fair orb! and with gladness pursue
The path that conducts thee to splendour again-
But man's faded glory what change shall renew?
Ah fool! to exult in a glory so vain !
“ 'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more:
I mourn; but, ye woodlands ! I mourn not for you;
For morn is approaching, your charms to restore,
Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew.
Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn;
Kind nature the embryo blossom will save-
But, when shall spring visit the mouldering urn ?
0! when shall it dawn on the night of the grave ?
“ 'Twas thus, by the glare of false science betray'd,
That leads to bewilder, and dazzles to blind ;
My thoughts wont to roam, from shade onward to shade,
Destruction before me, and sorrow behind.
O pity, great Father of light! then I cried,
Thy creature, who fain would not wander from thee,
Lo! humbled in dust, I relinquish my pride:
From doubt and from darkness thou only canst free.
“ And darkness and doubt are now flying away ;
No longer I roam, in conjecture forlorn:
So breaks on the traveller, faint and astray,
The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn.
See truth, love, and mercy, in triumph descending,
And nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom !
On the cold cheek of Death smiles and roses are blending,
And beauty immortal awakes from the tomb."
No longer autumn's glowing red
Upon our forest hills is shed;
No more beneath the evening beam
Fair Tweed reflects their purple gleam;
Away hath pass'd the heather-bell,
That bloom'd so rich on Needpath fell;
Sallow his brow,-and russet bare
Are now the sister heights of Yair.
The sheep before the pinching heaven,
To shelter'd dale and down are driven;
Where yet some faded herbage pines,
And yet a watery sunbeam shines.
In meek despondency they eye
The wither'd sward and wintry sky-
The shepherd shifts his mantle's fold,
And wraps him closer from the cold;
His dogs no merry circles wheel,
But, shivering, follow at his heel ;
A cowering glance they often cast,
As deeper moans the gathering blast.
My imps, though hardy, bold, and wild,
As best befits the mountain child,
Feel the sad influence of the hour,
And wail the daisy's vanish'd flower-
Their summer gambols tell, and mourn,
And anxious ask-will spring return,
And birds and lambs again be gay,
And blossoms clothe the hawthorn spray?
Yes, prattlers, yes—the daisy's flower
Again shall paint your summer bower;
Again the hawthorn shall supply
The garlands you delight to tie;
The lambs upon the lea shall bound,
The wild birds carol to the round;
And while you frolic light as they,
Too short shall seem the summer day.
SIR W. SCOTI.
Thou lingering star! with lessening ray,
That lov'st to greet the early morn, Again thou usherest in the day
My Mary from my soul was torn. O Mary! dear departed shade!
Where is thy blissful place of rest ? See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ?
Hear’st thou the groans that rend his breast ? That sacred hour can I forget
Can I forget the hallow'd grove, Where by the winding Ayr we met,
To live one day of parting love?
Eternity will not efface
Those records dear of transports past;
Thy image at our last embrace :-
Ah, little thought we 'twas our last!
Ayr gurgling kiss'd his pebbled shore,
O’erhung with wild woods, thickening, green;
The fragrant birch and hawthorn hoar,
Twin'd amorous round the raptur'd scene.
The flowers sprang wanton to be prest,
The birds sang love on every spray,
Till too, too soon, the glowing west
Proclaim’d the speed of winged day.
Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes,
And fondly broods with miser care ;
Time but the impression deeper makes,
As streams their channels deeper wear.
My Mary! dear departed shade!
Where is thy blissful place of rest ?
See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ?
Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ?
VI.-THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delay'd;
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please;
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene :
How often have I paus’d on every charm,
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topp'd the neighbouring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made !
How often have I bless'd the coming day,
When toil, remitting, lent its turn to play ;
And all the village train, from labour free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree;
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old survey'd.
Sweet was the sound, when oft, at evening's close,
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose ;
There, as I pass'd with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came soften'd from below;
The swain responsive as the milk-maid sung ;
The sober herd that low'd to meet their young
The noisy geese that gabbled o’er the pool ;
The playful children just let loose from school;
The watch-dog's voice that bay'd the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant inind;
These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And fill'd each pause the nightingale had made.
VII.-ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCII
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world—to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath these rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from tlie straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care;
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke:
How jocund did they drive their team a-field !
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure ;
Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour;
The paths of glory lead-but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault
If memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ?
Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?
Perhaps, in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom’d caves of Ocean bear;
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest ;
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.
The applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade ; nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd:
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind :
The struggling pangs of conscious Truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous Shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray :
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet even these bones, from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.